Supercomputers across Europe shut down after due to cryptocurrency mining malware: Report

Mumbai | Updated on May 18, 2020

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Supercomputers across Europe have shut down after being infected with cryptocurrency mining malware, according to reports.

Multiple supercomputers across Europe have shut down after the hacking attempts as authorities investigate the matter.

These hacking attempts have been reported for supercomputers in the UK, Germany, and Switzerland. A similar incidence has also been reported for a high-performance device in Spain.

One of the first incidents of supercomputers being infected with the malware was reported by the University of Edinburgh, which runs the ARCHER supercomputer.

The organisation reported that the security of its ARCHER login nodes had been compromised post which they had shut down the ARCHER system to investigate and reset the SSH passwords to prevent similar incidents.

In another instance, a research organization that researchers on supercomputers in Germany, the bwHPC last week announced that they had shut down five of its high-performance computing clusters due to similar "security incidents."

Felix von Leitner, a security researcher had claimed in a blog post that a supercomputer in Spain had to be shut down after a security issue.

Other incidents include security issues in supercomputers at the Leibniz Computing Center (LRZ), an institute under the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and the Julich Research Center in the town of Julich, Germany as per the report.

The malware and the hacking attempt is quite sophisticated according to German scientist Robert Helling who had published an analysis on the malware infecting the devices at the Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) for the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) on Saturday, released malware samples and network compromise indicators related to a few of these incidents.

There are no details provided about the intrusions yet including whether or not were all these attacks related and by the same group.

Most of the supercomputers that were shut down were prioritizing Covid-19 research. The research has come to a halt as computers have been shut down to reset login credentials for preventing future issues.

Published on May 18, 2020

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